Tuesday Night Record Club: 'Rumours'

Tuesday Night Record ClubTuesday Night Record Club presented “Rumours” from Fleetwood Mac on Nov. 7.

Four televisions hung on the wall in Wilson Auditorium and those who were in attendance, the chilled rain that came down outside, quietly dried off while listening to Fleetwood Mac’s live performance of the “The Chain.”

Many in the audience closed their eyes to focus on the harmony, swayed with the music, or tapped a foot to the beat as they sat. The song concluded and the discussion began.

The panel was led by Dr. Kenneth Womack, Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Nicholas Messina, communication instructor.

The discussion began with pre-”Rumours” music and history of the members-- romantic, musical, and otherwise.

“‘Rumours’ was the second best-selling album,” Messina noted. 40 million copies were sold worldwide and many Record Club members reminisced buying the album when it was first released on February 4 1977. “Black Magic Woman,” which was written by Peter Green and released in 1968, played for a few moments to give the members a taste of the music produced prior to “Rumours.”

Aaron Furgason, Chair of Communication PhD., said, “The record club is a celebration and a group discussion on the importance of music recordings to our collective culture.

Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” is a classic album because it was their breakthrough album to the masses and the in-fighting of the band is on displayed in the songs- and those songs stand the test of time.”

One member asked if Fleetwood Mac was an American or British band; almost everyone in the auditorium replied “yes” in unison.

Another member described their music as having the combined qualities of British blues and southern California sound.

The unique sound from Fleetwood Mac is not easily placed within a single genre. “Its blues, folk, rock, and disco,” Messina said.

Womack offered quotes from William Faulkner, W.B. Yeats, Iris Murdoch, and the band members, which corresponded with a few lines of lyrics, as a foundation for discussion and potential writing prompts for the audience.

 Record Club members took turns voicing their thoughts on individual tracks, band members, stylistic or sound qualities, and potential inspirations behind songs as well as what memories the album may have inspired in them.

“Dreams” was played. Stevie Nicks wrote the song and was lead vocals for the track. The song ignited a discussion about the romantic involvement of the band members.

It was argued that this track was Nicks’ “singing the blues.” The panel juxtaposed “Dreams” with “Go Your Own Way,” which was written and sung by Lindsey Buckingham and is known for its distinct guitar sound.

After playing the two songs, the panel suggested that “Dreams” has a universal appeal and a lofty, softer response to Buckingham. It’s attractive to listen to, but as you focus on the lyrics it becomes darker.

Messina described some of his favorite tracks on the album, “‘Never Going Back Again’ is lyrically gutting but the musical style of guitar picking and that staccato is amazing. ‘Don’t Stop’ takes me back to when I first heard it in a church. ‘The Chain’ is a wonderful collaborative, tender, lyrical mix.”

“I think it’s one of those albums that connects when you’re in love, about to be in love and falling out of love; you can make it your own.

Although, it’s important to know the backstory of the album,” Messina added. 

Raymond Romanski, a junior communication and TV/radio production student, is in charge of organizing the registration forms and attends most of the listening events.

 “This was only the second event this semester and almost a hundred people registered. ‘Rumours’ is a very popular event. We’ll get people registering till the very last minute,” he said.

Romanski spoke of his love for music and of the university taking the opportunity to promote records that have the ability to connect people.

“It’s great that Monmouth is doing something for students, faculty, and family to come together and enjoy music; that’s what music is all about,” Romanski revealed.

The albums are chosen by members of the club and the panel varies based on the record of the night.

For anyone interested in the record club Romanski said, “It’s just a discussion based on the album; we usually have a lot of professors go and speak and it’s open to all-- alumni, faculty, and students.”

The events are free to sign up for and the forms are available on the Monmouth University website, www.monmouth.edu/record-club/ to anyone in wishing to experience music.

IMAGE TAKEN from TheHollywoodReporter